"You know there's a purpose for your life. You long to live a life of true significance, and as you consider your life, you feel the pressure to do something -whatever that may be - and do it quickly.
"We've sensed it too, and we understand the ache that you feel. More than any other generation in history, ours is a generation that feels weight to do something, be somebody, make a difference, and then publish it to the world. But striving in our own power only leaves us emptier than before and keeps us battling for worthiness. It does nothing to quiet the longing we have to live the way God created us to live."
--from Tapestry Magazine website (April 2016)
Something about this resonated deeply with me. Mostly, I think, because it is true. There is a longing in my heart to do something. To be someone. Beside the longing is the fear that time is running out. I can't be the only one feeling this invisible pressure. The problem is, when we don't become as important as desired, thoughts of failure begin to settle in Either we can't find anything meaningful to do, or what we tried didn't work out how we thought it should. How can the motivation to change the world and the acceptance of failure reside in the same body - and continue to do so over and over again with so many of this generation More important, perhaps: How can it be fixed?
The things many try - work harder; never give up; follow your dreams - may be good advice, but they leave something out. Even pursuing something with your whole heart can leave you feeling empty or unnoticed. I think the reason for this is that we chose what to do; we chose what kind of difference we wanted to make and then we chose how to go about it, striving in our own power to accomplish our task. Maybe the problem is us. Maybe it is our fault we feel empty.
We are burdened to do something and make a difference. We long to find God's purpose for our lives. Unfortunately, I wonder just how many of us ask God what our purpose is. I fear even less of us actually listen for a response. I know I myself have been guilty of this. I have told God what I want to do and asked for His help. While this in and of itself may not be wrong, how many times have I missed a better opportunity because I did the planning?
We live in a world of alarm clocks and deadlines, of day planners and social media. There is the pressure to Do Something right now, and tell everyone about it. Again, these things on their own are not bad. A scheduled life is good, so long as you haven't lost peace through your plans or run out of time for God. We don't want to live so in the moment that we have no foundation for the future. But nor do we want to try so hard to map out our plan for changing the world, that we forget to ask the One who created the world how we should do it.
The more we try to make a difference on our own, the more the potential for failure hangs over us. We are so often left feeling unworthy or useless when we look at our lives, compare them to others around us or in the media, and feel something is lacking. God didn't create us to feel pointless and hopeless. He designed us in His image, and sent His Son Jesus to save us. Because of Him, we are worthy. But only through Him. If our worth and place in eternity comes solely through Christ, what makes us think that our worth on this life should come from anyplace less, or anyone else - including ourselves. As Christians, we depend on God for eternity; don't you think we can depend on Him for this life as well?
We are too often trying to do something big and life-changing without listening to the one who changed our lives. We know God has a plan and purpose for us. I want to live out that plan everyday, for His glory. Maybe that means taking a step back. Asking God what He wants me to do, and then listening for an answer! Asking Him what kind of difference I am called to make, and how to pursue it. Asking how much of the world He wants me to change, and being content and courageous, no matter how big or small that portion of the world may seem to me. God views things different than man - He sees the heart of men, the past and future, the ultimate goal. His will is always good, and always great. Don't be deceived by man's perspective of big or small. Don't be afraid if God ends up calling you somewhere or to do something that you think is too small, or too big! He absolutely knows what He is doing with you. Follow God's will for your life. Make God your new passion - then follow your dream; serving Him. Work hard - serving Him. And never give up serving Him. That is how I want to do something - For Him.